Arness Roadside Park, Kingston, Washington, August 12, 2020

Arness Roadside Park, Kingston, Washington, August 12, 2020
Arness Roadside Park, Kingston, Washington, August 12, 2020

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Long Live the King: Our Kingston, Washington, Volksmarch - Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Today's adventure with Diane Howell Evans was more of a surprise than we thought it would be! I would call this Volksmarch a real treat. We had a few difficulties with the instructions, but we didn't get completely lost. We did have to ask locals about the location of some things.

I met Diane at the Safeway in Silverdale, Washington, and rode with her to Kingston. She knows her way around the area and had a spot planned for us to park that would give us more than the two-hour free parking suggested in our walk instructions.

When we arrived in Kingston and looked for the four-hour parking Diane found online, we only found a lot that said towing was enforced. We did not want to be towed! Instead, on the walk route, was the Kola Kole Park (corner of Maine and Hwy. 104). There were no private property or tow-away signs. The lot was completely empty on a Wednesday morning. It looked good to us and there was even a super-clean porta-potty next to the parking lot. 

Kola Kole Park grounds house an old school building that was no longer needed by the city. In 1951, the building and grounds were deeded to the Kitsap County Parks Department to be used forever "for community purposes." County commissioners launched a contest to name the park, but that was a flop. Then they asked Martha George, a former Suquamish Tribe chairwoman for her input. She suggested the Salish words "Kola Kole," meaning "Place of Coming Together." Her words gave the park its name. 

At 9:25 a.m., we started walking. A good place to start walking from where we parked was to take a right on Hwy. 104 from Maine St. We walked toward the ferry terminal on Hwy. 104 and then turned right on NE West Kingston Rd. and then started at walk instruction #35. In retrospect, we could have stayed on Hwy. 104 for a few blocks to the actual start point at the Port of Kingston Kiwanis Park (PoKKP). Either way works.

Our first point of interest was Village Green Community Park with a building that houses the library, Boys and Girls Club, a senior center, and meeting rooms. There is also a playground and big, grassy areas for sunbathing or playing with children and dogs.

Community Center, including the library.

Beautiful magenta flowers lining
the sidewalk to the library.

Back on Hwy. 104, we found huge painted chairs, a mural, and an informative signboard with maps of the county and city.

Patriotically painted chairs.

Another painted chair in front of the bakery. 

I have room for at least one more.

"The Filling Station" mural.

North Kitsap parks, trails,
and natural areas.

Kingston parks and trails.

Funny comments on the map.

We had a chance to study all the maps, but couldn't quite commit them all to memory. LOL. It would have been great to have a photographic memory. Later in the walk, we didn't think to reference these maps when we were lost. Come to think of it, not all the roads and trails are on these maps. There was a map on the walk instructions, but that was not adequate.

The small, historic downtown was cute and heavy with pizza restaurants. Ahead of us was the waiting area for the Kingston ferry. We headed kitty-corner to the Kiwanis Park. What a view! This is a lovely little park overlooking the ferry terminal and Puget Sound. 

This is exquisite!

One of three places that serve
pizza in downtown Kingston.
For my "Rockin' around the Clock" special program.

The Port of Kingston Kiwanis Park (PoKKP).
Apropos weather vane.

There were four of these chairs in PoKKP.

A ferry is in port.

Heading uphill from PoKKP, we saw a historic hotel from 1889. There was another sign that read 1890. 

The Old Kingston Hotel.
Another ferry arriving. 

A trail down to the beach (on the right). 
The Puget Sound is filled with 
working boats of all types.

A northwestern home with a Sound view.

We were walking uphill from the PoKKP following our directions to continue up the hill past three barriers. Um, that didn't go as planned. When we got to a chain-link fence blocking the trail (one of the barriers that we could have gone around) there was a big, city-type sign on the fence instructing us that the trail was closed for safety reasons. We decided not to go that way because it looked like a cliff face and there could have been erosion going on. We weren't going to find out.

From there, we went back to the next road down (3rd St.) and detoured through a neighborhood. We hiked up a steep hill to 4th which is where the other trail would have taken us. Our next direction was to turn right on Ohio Ave. At this point, we had to guess which street Ohio was, as it was unmarked. Diane and I weren't sure which street we needed to be on, so she asked a guy walking by. He pointed us in the right direction. 

As we walked up Ohio Ave., we were supposed to find a "brown park sign" for "A Quiet Place." We passed two other brown park signs and we didn't have a clue how far it was to the above-mentioned sign. After consulting our map, we realized we were supposed to be at the top of the park and work our way back down to the lower brown park sign. When we were almost to the top of the hill, we finally spotted the sign we were looking for. 

The directions to make our way through the park were spot on. Once in the park, we had no problem finding our way back to Ohio Ave. 

A trail in "Quiet Place Park."

A little farther downhill, we had to go on another county park trail on the other side of Ohio Ave. Steep steps descended into the bottom of a gulch and from there we continued on that trail for a long distance. A small creek burbled on our right. 
Cedar tree roots.
Once again, we had an instruction on our map that didn't make sense. We continued on the main trail and eventually found the road we hoped we needed. Again, the street was unmarked. Only after we walked 1/4 mile on it and intersected with a main road did we know it was the correct road.

We headed downhill toward Hwy. 104. Our walk instructions told us to look in the backyard of a certain house to see their Star Wars playground. There was no fence, so we looked, but we didn't see a Star Wars playset. Instead, there were two deer and a Yellow Submarine. That'll do just fine.

Yellow Submarine in a backyard.

The first part of our walk was on the east side of Kingston. We are now headed through downtown to the west side of Kingston.

66 degrees at 11:00 a.m. Yay!

Trolls, I think.
More whimsical sculptures.


Aaandd, the only one posting on the
fence is Kitsap County. Ironic!

A Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings tree.

We walked along Barber Cutoff Road to Carpenter Lake Nature Preserve. To get to it, we had to go along the elementary school driveway. Again, we were stymied by one of the directions which told us to get to a trail through a "cement barrier." We did not see a cement barrier anywhere, so we asked some parents at the school playground how to get to the football field. Did they know where the trail started? They pointed us to a trail blocked by a metal gate.

This is what the directions referred to
as a "concrete barrier." No wonder we were confused.

We took that trail and found the high school football field, the tennis court, and the fence line that would take us to the next trail. This is where we ran into trouble with the directions again. We took the short, steep trail covered in loose rocks. Then our directions said, "Walk the trail to the right, joining the main trail at the bottom which is straight ahead." Say, what? 

There was a trail going to the right at the bottom of the short, steep trail, so we took it. It led back uphill to the high school. So, we went back to the last intersection and took the other, wider, "main" trail. We would not have been confused at all if the directions had simply stated "follow the chain-link fence straight at the bottom of the steep hill."

Nevertheless, we did find our way out of there and what we came to next made it all worthwhile! 
Welcome to the '50s!

This is My Girl Drive-in/Museum.

Here we are, emerging from the woods in what seems to be the middle of nowhere, and we find a 50s drive-in and service station! This is the roller-skating- waitress type of drive-in. It was like being Alice in Wonderland and falling into the rabbit hole. Check this place out!

It's not really on Route 66, but it's still fun.
My Girl Drive-In

Band names were scattered around
the property on big rocks.

The old-fashioned service station.

Vintage posters.

Reminders that Elvis is still the King.

1956 Airstream that Elvis Presley used
as his workspace for "Love Me Tender."

I believe this is Amelia Earhardt. 

Cool classic advertising.

As Diane and I were poking around the drive-in and looking in the museum windows, a man came walking around the side of the building and started talking to us. Turns out he is the owner and was out working on the place. He was in between tasks and he offered to give us a free tour of the museum. We jumped at the chance to see what all was in there.

An old-fashioned soda fountain.

James Dean memorabilia.
A stage. 
There's a working train that runs on a track on the upper wall. 

So, what exactly is this place? The owner, Bob Thompson, built it from scratch and he's been working on it for thirty years. He has traveled throughout the country to research drive-ins and to collect the items he has here. Many of the pieces belonged to him or his family. He grew up in the area (Port Gamble) and his roots go deep. In one room of the museum, he has old family photos and newspaper clippings mounted in large, vertical, plexiglass hanging files.

The drive-in/museum can be rented for special events. No food is served there. You can either order the delivery of food or have a potluck. It looked like a super place for a family reunion, high school reunion, or just a fun party. There's a stage if you want to have a band. 

What really wowed us was his car collection! OMG. A Rolls Royce Phantom, a vintage Thunderbird, a Packard Patrician with cathedral tail lights, 1932 Cadillac with a V-12 engine used in the movie "Full Metal Jacket," an antique Firebird, classic Corvette, the 1956 Ford Ranchero pick-up truck, and other equally impressive classic cars. 

A large room for a meeting, eating, or dancing.

A motorcycle used in "Easy Rider."

Early "boom boxes."
Vintage Thunderbird.

Firebird and Ford Ranchero. 
Packard Patrician.

I forgot what this one is.
1932 Cadillac with a V-12 engine.

Packard Patrician's cathedral tail lights.

We also saw a game room with pool table, another room with an old boat and a chainsaw collection (you read that right), an old Sears catalog, vintage magazines, a doll collection, old metal lunchboxes, a Bozo the clown punching bag, old metal tricycle, the list goes on and on. Diane found an antique book that many of us read as children. Now that we are adults, we know that it is branded as racist, but we were too little to know that when we were little.

Diane with Bob Thompson in back.

I forgot to mention that Bob Thompson has a custom-built NHRA Funny Car that he takes on the road to military bases to honor the men & women of our United States Armed Forces. Fuel: Nitromethane $115/gallon. Engine: 8,000 HP. Speed: 330 MPH in less than five seconds!

Bob Thompson's funny car.

His brother is Harlan Thompson, a professional race car driver for 30 years. He races a Dodge Chrysler Hemi funny car, 500 cubic inches, 5,000 horsepower (rebuilt after every 1/4-mile run). 

I think the tour added about 45 minutes onto our walk! He said he normally charges to give tours, but because he wasn't busy today, he gave us the tour for free. We thanked him profusely and continued on with our walk. We recommend this venue if you're looking for something different, nostalgic, unique, and fun in Kingston, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula.

The sign on the highway. 

So, that was our big surprise on this Volksmarch. It was amazing Bob was there and willing to give us a tour. 

From there, we headed to Arness Roadside Park, a pretty little wayside with a beach. On our way to the park, we saw the dog below having a blast in the water. He was jumping around, walking back and forth, wagging his tail. It almost looked like he was fishing.

A view of the ferry terminal
from Arness Roadside Park.

Arness Roadside Park beach.

Prince chairs!

This looked like a sailboat class.

Info on the estuary.

The upside-down root system of a large
tree that probably washed down the river.

Where the estuary meets Puget Sound.

From the roadside park, it was a short distance back to Diane's car. It was 2:10 p.m. We had a quick lunch and called it a day. 

Other than technical difficulties with the walk directions, this is an awesome Volksmarch. [NOTE: If you do this walk, you may or may not find Bob Thompson at My Girl Drive-in/Museum. You may encounter a locked gate, just so you know.]